Three stories from the last week about Philadelphia-area schools:
(props to staff researcher [read: jet-lagged spouse] RM for gleaning tidbits from last week's news for this and other posts today)
- In last Sunday's Inquirer (9/4; now archived, so no link), there was a story called "Revising grades will be tougher," which indicated that the Philadelphia school system will no longer allow principals to revise student grades without justifying their action to the regional superintendant. I was surprised that a subset of principals were intervening frequently; the problem is really about what to do with failing students, but earlier intervention seems better than letting students slip through without learning anything.
- In an apparent follow-up, the School District today announced a plan to help standardize grading standards across different schools. Also discussed is a previous guideline for failing students in a single grading period, which appeared to let students skip an entire class without receiving less than 50%. I hope they come up with a better idea this time around...
- Late last week the School District announced the latest in its innovative experiments: offering AP classes in special Saturday sessions for students whose home schools otherwise lack such programs (or whose schedules are already overburdened, eek). Interesting idea, although a lot of subjects (I'm thinking of calculus) can be hard to learn in a seminar format, rather than daily classes.